Judge Vavra aids law enforcement

KUDOS To John Vavra.

The Belmont County Eastern Division Court judge helped partially remedy a longstanding injustice. Vavra has made the decision to have local law enforcement agencies receive compensation for their transporting of suspects to the Belmont County Jail.

For all too long local police agencies would shoulder all the financial costs associated with the work. Between the time involved, fuel costs and wear and tear on the vehicle, it could turn into a pricey undertaking, with no compensation in return.

All the while, the county jail was receives a processing fee of $30 per warrant.

Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk has long championed the cause for some type of reimbursement for agencies making the transport. He says his department transports between 30-35 arrestees per month on outstanding warrants.

That adds up to a nice chunk of change.

Judge Vavra recently stepped to the plate and mandated that agencies transporting the suspects will receive $20 for each warrant. Vavra’s decision was the fair and equitable route to go.

Hopefully, the two other Belmont County courts follow suit.



BELMONT COUNTY veterans can get free haircuts at the Belmont County Veterans Services Offices. Sherri Wukeson is donating her services on two days. She will be at the Barnesville veterans office, 113 W. Main St., on Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. She will be at the veterans main office, 3326 Belmont St., Bellaire, on Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and again from 4-7 p.m. Veterans must call the main office at 740-325-1042 to schedule an appointment.


FORMER TIMES Leader Sports Writer Robin Yocum recently held a book signing at the Sardis Library in Monroe County. Yocum, a Brilliant native and Buckeye North High graduate, is now a nationally recognized author, based in Columbus. After leaving The Time Leader, he landed with the Columbus Dispatch, spending 11 years as an investigative reporter. That beat led him into the publishing business. He has since published four novels with a fifth nearing completion. Yocum, a Bowling Green product, has won numerous awards for his writing expertise.


THE BELLAIRE Presbyterian Church at 36th & Guernsey streets in Bellaire is having a pancake and sausage supper on Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 5-7 p.m. at the church. It is free and open to the public. Feb. 12 is Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday. Traditionally, it is the day when you eliminate the fat from your diet in preparation for Lent, which begins Wednesday.

THE BELMONT County Veterans Service Commission honored two of its van drivers during its regular meeting in February. Drivers Troy Skukan and Joe Skoda were recognized for their years of service and outstanding safety record. Both drivers take veterans to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Pittsburgh Monday through Friday and log more than 50,000 miles-a-year for the veterans service office. Both have been full time drivers since 2007.

MARTINS FERRY will hold its annual town hall meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the recreation center.

I HATED to see the Edison school levy go down to defeat Tuesday. To say the massive Jefferson County school district is in deep trouble is a major understatement. The 9.45-mill continuous operating levy lost by a 56.56 to 43.44 percent margin. It was targeted to find basic operating expenses. The district will now have to make cuts, which will include shutting down Pleasant Hill Elementary School, as well as discontinue bus pickup for students in grades 9-12 next school year. Edison students and staff are deserving of better support from voters. Massive cuts will leave the district a shell of its former self.

A FORMER Caldwell High basketball player was a candidate for the title of Miss Nevada USA. Liza Green is a 2005 Caldwell graduate and earned her dental hygienist degree from Ohio State in 2010. She finished in the top 12 in the Nevada pageant. She now resides in Las Vegas and works as a dental hygienist.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com